MafA and MafB activity in pancreatic β cells

Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Sep;22(9):364-73. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 Jun 28.


Analyses in mouse models have revealed crucial roles for MafA (musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene family A) and MafB in islet β cells, with MafB being required during development and MafA in adults. These two closely related transcription factors regulate many genes essential for glucose sensing and insulin secretion in a cooperative and sequential manner. Significantly, the switch from MafB to MafA expression also appears to be vital for functional maturation of β cells produced by human embryonic stem (hES) cell differentiation. This review summarizes the discovery, distribution, and function of MafA and MafB in rodent pancreatic β cells, and describes some key questions regarding their importance to β cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Maf Transcription Factors, Large / genetics
  • Maf Transcription Factors, Large / metabolism*
  • MafB Transcription Factor / genetics
  • MafB Transcription Factor / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Models, Animal


  • Insulin
  • Maf Transcription Factors, Large
  • MafB Transcription Factor
  • Mafa protein, mouse
  • Mafb protein, mouse
  • Glucose